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Linn County News

Published Jan. 3, 2018

Russell Eugene Johnson, age 90, a resident of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, at the Olathe Medical Center in Olathe, Kan. He was born Aug. 1, 1927, in Fulton, Kan., the son of Andrew Webb Johnson and Flora Gump Johnson.

While in high school, Russell began working for the railroad. He later joined the United States Navy and served during World War II. Following his service with the U.S. Navy, he returned to Kansas and worked for the Frisco Railroad, which later became the Burlington Northern Railroad. 

He married Lena Wheeler on Aug. 12, 1951, in Tulsa, Okla. 

Russell attended the Fulton United Methodist Church as a small child when it was newly built. He returned to it when he and his wife moved to Fort Scott for his work. The people there had been his spiritual, emotional and social support for many years. Each one was very dear to him. 

Russell had an interest in local history, and the Linn County Museum of Pleasanton has a display devoted to Russell and his family history in honor of the work he and his son did at the museum.

Russell also looked forward to the annual Burlington Alumni gatherings. 

After the death of his wife Lena in March of 2016, Russell moved to the Presbyterian Village in Fort Scott where he was warmly welcomed. He developed many close friendships in his short time there. 

 Survivors include his daughter, Debra Johnson-Dobrowsky and her husband Rick Dobrowsky of Olathe; and two grandchildren, Lauren and Dana Dobrowsky. 

He was preceded in death by his wife Lena; a son, Stephen Johnson; and a sister, Vinita Butler. 

 Rev. Chuck Russell and Pastor Connie Edgerton conducted funeral services on Saturday, Dec. 23, at the Fulton United Methodist Church. A graveside service was held on Tuesday, Dec. 26, at the U. S. National Cemetery in Fort Scott.


Memorials are suggested to Heart to Heart and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at


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